police bid to drive down van crashes

MORE than 400 van drivers were involved in fatal or serious injury collisions on Sussex roads between 2007 and 2011.

Statistics show the vans most involved in accidents are Ford Transit and Ford Connects and Mercedes Sprinter.

Now the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) has released a new resource to help keep van drivers safe on the roads.

From research conducted by the SSRP at the roadside, it appears that many van drivers are unaware that their vehicles are subject to different speed limits than car drivers.

Vans with a laden weight below 7.5 tonnes are subject to 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways.  However, as the SSRP’s latest video shows, many drivers are unaware of this.

The short film can be seen on the SSRP’s website: www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk.

Police say that employers could also face tough penalties for the actions of their drivers.

The responsibility for staying safe on the roads doesn’t just rest with the drivers - under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act (CMHA) 2008, company owners, directors and fleet managers also have significant responsibilities to ensure that their employees are safe on the roads.

Importantly, this piece of legislation covers anyone driving on works business - whether making deliveries in a van or nipping out for a box of printer paper in a private car.

The SSRP developed the Company Operator Safer Transport Scheme (COSTS) as a free resource to help companies comply with their responsibilities under the CMHA. There are five strands to the package:

Free leaflets, posters and handbooks for drivers and company owners setting out considerations under the CMHA, and sign posting further information

Free ‘Lunch and Learn’ workshops for businesses of all sizes with sessions aimed at managers and staff

Free Occupational Road Risk Assessments for managers to help identify risks faced by the company and create strategies to reduce those risks

Free assistance to help businesses review their road risk documentation and advice to improve the documentation where necessary.